High heels, bootie shorts, and a healthy amount of eyeliner. That’s an appropriate uniform for attending Brukwine an NYC-based fitness routine that is gaining in popularity around the country.
Brukwine, a Caribbean-influenced workout featuring Dancehall and reggae music, combines cardio and dance, stressing waist and leg movements for epic sweating and toning results.
Brukwine was started in 2012 by Autavia (Tavia) Bailey and Tamara Marrow, two professional dancers with impressive resumes. The duo met when touring with reggae giant Sean Paul for eight years (yes, you’ve seen them in his music videos), and they’ve also danced alongside talents like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Missy Elliot, Whitney Houston and Rihanna. They teach Brukwine classes at studios all over New York, travel the country giving Brukwine workshops, and as part of their upcoming expansion, will bring Brukwine permanently to Miami Crunch gyms this June.
“We taught our first class in Taiwan two years ago; we were brought out there to teach Dancehall and we thought, ‘let’s do something different’ so we did a sexier routine with heels,” Marrow told Racked at a New York City coffee shop. “When we got back to New York three months later, we decided to really do this thing, so we named it Brukwine and started teaching it as a fitness class.”
Brukwine is a Jamaican term for “breaking out and letting loose,” and if there’s one thing you’ll learn in the class, it’s how to “wine your waist,” as Bailey refers to it. Dubbed “the sexiest workout ever,” the girls mix Dancehall routines with their own signature choreography. After a quick warm up, the class focuses on hip movements, vertical butt drops, and stomach pulses. Both genders are welcome to attend, but classes are generally more geared towards women.
“Brukwine is very sexy, and very feminine. We use a lot of waist movements that really tone your legs and give you a great cardio workout,” Bailey added. “People come to our class and think they are just going to dance but they finish drenched in sweat. You can burn up to 1000 calories.”
While heels are not mandatory, the girls recommend them to their students—although sneakers can help you achieve the same sweat levels, we assure you. Many Brukwine “addicts,” as they call themselves, play along with Brukwine’s “shtick”—moments before class, you can find them strapping on their sneaker wedges and caking on makeup, since “you want to look sexy when your watching yourself move in the mirror the whole time,” Bailey explained.
Bailey and Marrow have big plans for their fitness movement. With requests pouring in to start classes in cities like Atlanta, LA, and Toronto, the girls are starting to certify other dance teachers as Brukwine instructors so they can fully expand their business. So far, they’ve certified eight Brukwine “Gyals” to teach.
“We know that once Brukwine starts getting bigger, certain things will be out of our control, but for the first round of teachers, we want them to be as knowledgeable and skilled as they can be,” Marrow said. “We don’t want to just throw the routine at anyone who thinks they can teach. We look for things like, can they communicate to the class, explain what they should be feeling when, and if they have the right energy.”
Starting any new business is hard, but fitness is certainly a crowded market, especially when it comes to the dance genre. And yet Brukwine has built an impressive following, with fans driving to New York from as far as Philly to attend classes. Bailey and Marrow suggest reserving spots online for their classes, as they are often sell out.
“A lot of people attend the class that wouldn’t normally work out because mentally, it doesn’t feel like it,” Marrow said. “We also come with great knowledge and skill. We’ve been in the industry for a long time and we have actual Brukwine moves so people can learn and catch one, even if they aren’t professional dancers.”